Shillong: 13th Feb 2012 (Monday):
Urban development in Meghalaya especially in the major Towns, including the Capital is not sufficient to meet the growing demands of the population. The growth of the Urban Sector has often been haphazard with inadequate facilities like good roads, water supply, waste management, public transport etc. The situation calls for a constructive discussion at high level to find a long-term solution for future planning and implementation.
With this objective Indian Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Roundtable Conference on Meghalaya Urban Infrastructure Development at Hotel Pinewood in Shillong, on 15th February 2012, to discuss and find a road-map for urban development of the State of Meghalaya.
The Round Table is expected to discuss the issue of basic services for the state including infrastructure, shelter, water, sanitation, solid waste management, roads, communication system, rapid transportation, street lighting and related subjects. Cities and towns play a vital role in a country’s socio-economic growth,its transformation and change. Urban Spaces of Northeast India if taken on fast track development could act as regional hubs of growth and provide a gateway to the dynamic markets of South East Asia.
Urbanization in Meghalaya has been growing at a slower rate. According to 2001 census the state has only 19.58% urban population which is much lower than the national average of 28%. Presently the state has sixteen urban centres out of which Shillong Urban Agglomeration is the largest one, comprising of seven towns.
The urban population in Meghalaya has grown from 1,47,150 in 1971 to 3,30,047 in 1991 and to 4,54,111 in 2001. The decadal growth rate in 1991 – 2001 was 37.59% in Meghalaya which is higher than the national growth rate of 31.2% for the decade. The urban population in the state is mainly concentrated in the urban agglomeration of the capital city. Shillong and Tura alone contributes 71.93% of the urban population. Both the central and the state governments over the years have implemented various schemes and programmes for the urban development of the state.
Hon’ble Dy. Chief Minister of the State, Mr. B M Lanong has agreed to kindly address the Convention as the Chief Guest. Urban Development Minister of Meghalaya Ms. Ampareen Lyngdoh has confirmed her presence as the keynote speaker while Mr. B.K. Panda, Director, Deptt. of Urban Development, Govt. of Meghalaya, Mr. D P Singh Chief General Manager, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, NE Circle-I, Mr. Raj Chakravarty General Manager,National Highway Authority of India, Guwahati Regional Office, Mr. R.K. Singla Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India, Mr. Shyam Kanu Mahanta Leading Consultant, Senior Officials and Representatives of Northeast Frontier Railway, North Eastern Power Corporation Ltd.
Government officials and representatives from Industries, Tourism, Urban Development, Public Health Engineering are expected to grace the occasion by their presence and offer solutions to the problems of Urban Development of the state, try to find ways and means to bring back the glory of this beautiful hill state once known as the “Scotland of the East” and to make it a better dwelling place to live in. A host of dignitaries from all walks of life have been invited to attend and interact in the program and share their views on the subject.